Author: Dale Claridge

Terrorism and ‘White Privilege’

On 1st October, Las Vegas suffered one of the worst mass shootings in US history. One of the most celebrated cities in the United States saw at least 58 people killed and over 500 injured in what appears to have been an act of mindless slaughter. In trying to make sense of the carnage, many people are expressing indignation that the gunman, an elderly white male, is not being described as a terrorist as, say, a Muslim shooter might have been in similar circumstances. This discrepancy, it is alleged, is evidence of ‘white privilege.’ Considering that white Americans have been culpable for more deaths in 2017 and more successful mass shootings than Islamists, it is understandable that some people struggle to make sense of the fact that attacks labelled ‘terrorism’ get a disproportionate amount of coverage. They protest that, due to the nation’s racial biases, white assailants of all sorts are probed for personal circumstances and psychological issues which might protect them from the unique stigmatisation attached to the word ‘terrorist.’ In this subtle but …